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tv   Legends Lies The Real West  FOX News  May 10, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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anyone! >> go to hell, pat! >> i'm not going anywhere. >> news is the first draft of history. it is immediate and takes place in real time. legends take longer to develop and are sometimes based on men. this fox news series looks at the truth behind the legend. >> afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. you think mr. crockett will be making it today? i don't think so. i think it will be just like last time. scared i'm going to win. spent too much time in the woods, not enough time among
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civilized human beings. is that davey crockett? >> you can read all day long about the people. but you still don't know how to be with the people. you're just a pawn. a slanderer. >> you tell them, davey! you're with us, mr. crockett. >> fitzgerald, you called me a liar. any man that calls me a liar is going to get a beating. >> he has a gun! oh, don't worry, folks. he's harmless. ladies and gentlemen, the famous davey crockett.
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♪ sweet land of liberty ♪ >> on the north american plains, opportunity calls men of courage to chase the sun west into a new frontier. they would shape a nation, lay
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hold of the destiny and birth a new mythology. but with the passing of time, every myth has its reckonning. dade stern crockett, a new frontiersman, a back woods hero from the tennessee foothills. behind every hero stands a man and behind every legend lies the truth. >> the legend of david crockett is out of a folk hero of the western frontier. a wild man who wrestles bears and kills indians. the truth is david crockett is no simpleton. he is an ambitious man with political aspiration that's take him to the nation's capital where he serves his country as a united states congressman. >> wild and untamed, the tennessee frontier is beyond the reach of all but the bravest and hardiest of men.
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david crockett is adventurous and bold. >> i knew that bear wanted to hug me. i reckon he had a change. >> why did you put down your rifle? >> corners are two close. besides, i'd rather use a knife. it was here that i began to distinguish myself as a hunter. and to lay the foundation for my future greatness. >> now another time when i was just a cub, i can recall -- >> crockett is a jokester. he is remarkably funny.
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and he's likeable. people like him. >> about six or seven by the creek, running into another bear. >> well, tennessee at the time was still the american frontier. you have wild animals. you got fights. and it was in this world where there is no kind of solid established law that david crockett, you know, begins the process of becoming the myth. >> david crockett, a third generation frontiersman is born just ten years after the signing of the declaration of independence. his father is a hero of the revolutionary war. >> david's father john crockett is what's called an overmountain man. overmountain men are settlers on the western side of the appalachian mountains. they oppose british rule and come east to join their fellow americans to fight in the revolutionary war. with such a father, it's no surprise that david crockett becomes an american patriot.
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>> here, boy. gather this wood here and take it on into the house. >> contrary to legend, david crockett never actually goes by davey. even as a child, he preferred david, the name given to him in honor of his dead grandfather who was killed by creek indians. >> frontier life is a constant struggle. and the family farm bankrupts the crocketts. to pay his debts, john is forced to make a difficult decision >> here's my boy. his name is david. shake his hand, boy. david crockett becomes what is known as a bound boy. it is a form of service to pay off a debt. it is slightly above being a
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slave. this had a significant impact on crockett. >> we shouldn't as modern people judge john crockett too harshly. the role of children in the early 19th century was vastly different than it is now. >> the work was grueling. but david makes the best of the difficult situation. he knows education is his best shot at escaping poverty. and later trades more work on the farm to pay for basic tutoring. >> go on, get back to work. >> that's the only education crockett ever had. but in that time, he says i learned how to read. i learned how to write. and i learned how to decipher. >> after a year working off his family's debt, david is finally
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granted his freedom. and continues a practical education that will catapult him to great notoriety. it's a right of passage. a tool that men use to provide and protect. a symbol of independence and freedom. one crockett will cherish. crockett would not have been anything without the tennessee law. it's not a military weapon. it is designed as a hunting weapon. >> crockett's reputation on the frontier as a skilled hunter with deadly aim earns him more than just admiration from his
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fellow riflemen. >> he was intensely loyal. when he was hunting, he would always share the meat of his hunts with neighbors or people in need. >> in 1806, david marries a local girl named polly finley. they rent a farm and settle down. but like his father, crockett struggles to feed his growing family. >> i found that farming wasn't what it was cracked up to be. it was there for a more necessary than i should hunt to get along. >> david is not only esteemed among the other hunters of the region. he's putting money into his pocket and food on the table. >> crockett trades on his hunting skills keeping his family fed and out of debt. he now has status and respectability. and a life worth fighting for. >> now, one time in the dead of
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winter i almost froze. >> crockett! five people are dead. creeks. >> during the war of 1812, creek indians attacked ft. mims. the massacre leaves 500 men, women and children dead. many of them trapped and burned alive. >> if every man waited for his wife to be willing for him to go to war, we would all be killed in our home. >> david crockett has found his call to glory. but to answer it, he must risk his life and leave his family alone on the frontier. >> good-bye, son. >> this is what men do at the
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time. this is how armies are built. your wife, your children, your farm, your life all become secondary. the call to duty comes first. >> the call to war sets crockett's life on a course that will have him clinging to his ideals as firmly as he grips his musket. ...for capturing your world. and now they can transform it, with the new angie's list app you can you can get projects done in a snap. take a photo of your project or just tell us what you need done... ...and angie's list will find a top-rated provider to do the job. start your project for free today. ♪ expected wait time: 55 minutes. your call is important to us. thank you for your patience. waiter! vo: in the nation, we know how it feels when you aren't treated like a priority. we do things differently. we'll take care of it.
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by 1812, america has been a sovereign nation for more than 30 years. but the creek nation allied with the british attack the newly united states over unclaimed land. fighti fighting breaks out on the frontier and spreads to alabama. >> in 1813 the creek indian tribe was supplied with the firearms and gunpowder from the british to help them in the war of 1812 to try to defeat the americans. 300 settlers and approximately 250 militia were parted together in ft. mims and they were massacred by the creeks.
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>> david crockett is one of the first to volunteer and hunts down the creeks. >> these are the people who murdered his grandparents. these are the people who forced crockett to leave a loving wife and family. now we have david crockett the soldier for the first time in his life. >> leading mat lisha and advancing on the creeks is a man known for being as ambitious as he is arrogant, general andrew jackson. >> david crockett is serving under jack. there were tremendous atrocities committed under andrew jackson's orders among the creek people. >> jackson orders a surprise
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attack on the creek village. but experiencing the brutalities of war firsthand has an unexpected effect on crockett. >> crockett was pretty traumatized by some of the events in the creek war. he was not a killer. he wasn't a violent person. >> unlike the general he serves under, he recognizes the humanity of the impressive creek warriors. he admires their strength in battle and courage in the face of death. >> the legend of david crockett is that he's a fierce indian fighter taming the wild frontier. the truth is he only kills when he has to. the battle shows crockett has more in common with native-american warriors than he does with most military men.
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>> andrew jackson's militia engages in another battle. but when hundreds of escape, jackson is enraged. he's determined to destroy his enemy. no matter the cost to his men. >> jackson kept on pushing them and pushing them to the point where they ran out of supplies. if we were actually to apply the rules of war to the andrew jackson's campaign, you would be considered a war criminal. >> the question permission to leave to get food and other needs. >> we don't have the time to get anything, scout. >> sir, the men -- >> dismissed!
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>> andrew jackson called up the militia. he says now guys, it's going to be rough. we're going to go hungry some days. if anybody desserts, i will prescribe a penalty for that which is death by firing squad. >> how you boys doing? >> crockett and a number of others decide we have to get some supplies here. so in defiance of jackson's orders, they march right out to get some supplies. >> we all had our guns ready and primed. that if we were fired upon we would fire our way through or all die together.
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>> as your commanding officer, i order you to return to camp. >> first be sure that you're right. then go the hell ahead. >> you volunteer to go out and fight and at your pleasure you volunteer to go home again. >> i volunteered to do for your men what you will not. >> even as a volunteer, crockett risks being court-martialed. still, he takes the 500 mile round trip journey from ft. department to winchester and
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back. and returns with supplies and food. >> there you go, boys. >> crockett took credit in his autobiography of being one of the volunteers who ignored jackson's orders for them to stay in camp. historians disagree on this. >> i doubt if he would put something in his autobiography that others could have read and known it was false. >> his unit and jackson's part ways. there is no record of crockett being charged with desertion. the war has changed the country and the man. crockett returns to a life that will never be the same. polly, his wife and mother of three, is near death with an unknown sickness.
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after building a prosperous frontier life, he fights to defend his home and country. the war of 1812 is over in march of 1815 after a treaty is signed between america and the british.
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upon his return, crockett find his young wife polly on her deathbed. within months, she's gone. >> entered my humble cottage and tore from my children an affectionate and good mother and took from me a tender and loving wife. >> crockett struggles after polly's death and sets out as a widower to forge a new path for him and his children. before long he is presented with an unusual opportunity. >> america is changing as the war of 1812 comes to an end. self-made men like david crockett enter politics and appeal to the public more than traditional money kanld dates. crockett's reputation as a frontier'sman and soldier make him a standout candidate. >> hey my young man, are you going to go hunt with me one of
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these young days? >> the successful career in politics is unlikely for a widower with three kids. faith lends a hand when he meets and soon marries elizabeth patton, a widow with two small children of her own. >> may i ask you where you come from? >> right here. >> elizabeth lost her husband in the creek war. she has a substantial salary, enough to finance her husband's political career. >> crockett's first campaign is against a local militia captain for the office of lieutenant colonel. >> i'm captain matthews. and with my experience, the great state of tennessee can only benefit from my knowledge of the intricacies of politics. >> intricacies of politics? if your people create intricacies in politics. i think these people need to be
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better served by somebody of their own kind. >> yeah! it's hot as blaze out here. how about i if get you folks -- >> david follows in love with politics. >> you got my phone. >> yes, sir. >> good. >> one that includes whiskey drinking and story telling. >> david crockett was a politician. the frontiersman was part of his image making campaign in order to get elected to a population that did not want to hear from the old time politicians. >> after dabbling in local politics, crockett makes a bid for a seat in the tennessee legislature. as he builds momentum, his detractors begin mocking him in the press. referring to him as the
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gentleman from mccain. the phrase gentleman from mccain referred to the unexplored areas where croak et lived. >> crockett immerses himself in his campaign and wins a seat in the tennessee state assembly. before long, his support of local farmers puts him at odds with james mitchell, a prominent lawyer. >> this bill will not work. it will not be agriculturally productive and that is why we cannot, will not, count this motion. no matter how much assemblyman crockett claims it will be a boom to local farmers. >> i reckon i'd like to rebutt you, mitchell. i don't have the words.
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but i'd still like to say my speech. my fellow colleagues, we will not, we cannot, we shall not accept this motion. did i offend your delicate sensibilitieses, mitchell? david crockett becomes the voice of the struggling class. laborors, tradesmen, pioneers and farmers, those building america into the power house it is becoming. but in the process, he's criticizing the democrats include andrew jackson's inner circle. >> as it turned out, crockett wasn't trying to criticize jackson. but jackson took it so personally. he said i'm going to crush this little pip-squeak.
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>> crockett's growing popularity and independent politics puts him at odds with the party leadership. andrew jackson, now the democrats presidential front-runner, has its old scout in its sights. >> andrew jackson was once involved in a duel. someone had insaulted him. he went into that duel determined to not only hit his opponent, but kill his opponent. if jackson told you he was going to kill you, you best get your affairs in order. >> the jackson and the democrats had deep trouble on p the horizon. david crockett was in the higher office and really causes trouble in the future. we have to par him now. >> after two successful terms in the state legislature, crockett comes up short in the first bid for congress.
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out of a job and deep in campaign debt. david crock set forced to return home in defeat. when it comes to your credit, in the know is the place to be. transunion.com makes it easy. we give you 24/7 access. you get instant credit alerts to keep you in sync. you can even lock and unlock your transunion credit report from your phone. and all that information feels pretty good. come to transunion.comand get in the know.
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protect what matters. get flood insurance. call the number on your screen to learn more. after losing his first run for congress, david crockett heads home looking andrew jackson, known as old hickory for his toughness, is ridesing through the senate on his way to the white house. desperate to climb out of debt and finance his next campaign, crockett takes on a risky business venture. while transporting his goods, a boating descent costs him a fortune in inventory. and almost his life. >> as i live aej breathe, david crockett -- >> yeah, i tried to bring some
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wares down. but i haven't ever been on that river. >> don't you worry about that, mr. crockett. somebody get him a blanket. >> after barely making it to shore, he meets a wealthy businessman from memphis named marcus winchester. with the help of winchester's financial backing, a group opposed to the democrats decides crockett is their man to go to washington and help them dethrone andrew jackson. crockett accepts their offer. the group eventually forms the wig party. >> ladies and gentlemen, the one time i faced off with a mountain lion with a water mocassin crawling up my leg, i had to choose which one was the bigger threat. ly to go after him first. today, that threat is old hickory.
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>> crockett has made a remarkable journey. from bound boy to the united states congress. and now with his eyes on the white house, he wastes no time ruffling feathers. >> andrew jackson has a near singular focus passing the indian removal act which will relocate numerous native-american tribes to reservations father west. even though the act will greatly benefit his tennessee constituency, david crockett has strong moral objections to forcing native people from their ancestoral lands. >> a bill to provide for the removal of certain indians from any territory of the united states west of the mississippi. how do you vote? >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> mr. crockett?
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>> ney. >> given his history with the indians, it is remarkable that he had the humanity in him to be their defender, to go up against andrew jackson. >> crockett's voice infuriates the jackson dems who once again target his campaign. >> william fitzgerald was a candidate hand picked to bring down crockett. and ironically, he used some of the same down home tactics that crockett had mastered against him successfully which annoyed crockett. >> any man that calls me a liar is going to get a beating. >> i think you might want to take a step back, congressman
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crockett. >> crockett's refusal to stand up to fitzgerald leaves voters confused. their disappointment shows at the ballot box. >> ladies and gentlemen, the famous david crockett. >> crockett bounces in and out of congress for the next four years after losing one final election he begins to look elsewhere for opportunities. the republic of texas has become the new land of promise. americans move southwest staking claim to rich mexican soil in texas. out offed politicians like sam houston make the new republic an opportunity to revive their political ambitions. >> i'd rather be beaten and be a man than to be elected and be a little puppy dog. you have chosen to elect a man
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with a zip code to succeed me. you may all go to hell. i'm going to texas. >> crockett the politician is defeated and disillusions but crockett the frontier'sman is looking for new adventures and a fresh new start. leaving his wife and kids behind, crockett sets out looking for a new family home. >> crockett is a politician. he has got no kind of political future as far as he can see in tennessee. and so where the hell can he get elected to office? well, texas is a possibility. >> but their son and daughters this is the first time i've had an opportunity to write to with you convenience. i've got through safe and i have been received by everybody with an open arm of friendship. the texans were the anglo sax yonz in mexican texas.
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they started coming in in the last days of the spanish regime and the first days of the new mexican republic. these guys were coming to texas in order to make texans into a new america. >> but mexico and general santa ana stand in the way. crockett meets with an old friend from his washington days, sam houston. commander of the texan army. >> politics, we did that. this is war. i selected 65 excellent riflemen. they'll be under your command. i want you to take them down to san antonio and reinforce the garrison there and hold it. what do you say? >> i'd be happy and honored to fight for the future of the republic of texas. >> sam houston dispatched
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crockett to a gar is son known by the mexicans as bell alamo. . >> for more of these stories, purchase the companion book available at billo'reilly.com and book stores nationwide. go away on its own. so let's do something about it. premarin vaginal cream can help it provides estrogens to help rebuild vaginal tissue and make intercourse more comfortable. premarin vaginal cream treats vaginal changes due to menopause and moderate-to-severe painful intercourse caused by these changes. don't use it if you've had unusual bleeding, breast or uterine cancer, blood clots, liver problems, stroke or heart attack, are allergic to any of its
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in 1836, victory over mexico feels close at hand for the men fighting for a sovereign texas. only months before david crockett arrives in san antonio, texan soldiers drive out mexican troops, seizing control of the former mission now a military fortress called the alamo. >> for the texans, the alamo is really about has been accumulated there. there is lots and lots done. for the mexican military, they represent something very different. general santa ana is the supreme commander of the mexican army known as the napoleon of the
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west. >> state your business. zbh we volunteer for the united states. here to fight for the republic of texas. >> santa ana is determined to take back what belongs to mexico and he sees only one way to do it. >> if you're going to teach these texans a lesson, you need to teach them that lesson at the alamo. >> they're hunkered down inside the walls of the alamo. crockett takes his place as a private under the command of two men. >> yeah, william bear travis who is in charge of the texas regulars. and then you have jim boon who is in charge of the volunteers.
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the texans are expecting a fight at the alamo. they just don't expect it this soon. at the time mexico is in turmoil with pockets of civil war breaking out across the country. believing general santa ana has his hands full, they do not suspect an immediate threat. of course, they koblt couldn't e wrong. >> we're going to need a whole lot of reinforcement. >> travis gets the message and he discounts this information. travis doesn't expect mexicans to show up until spring and he's got people like crockett and his
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rival. >> well aware of the advancing mexican army, crockett has a small window to escape. but he has no intention of retreating. >> when this war is won, texas will achieve its independence, these people are going to need a strong leader. and i intend to give them what they need. >> the texans have indeed misjudged general santa ana. for weeks he's been assembling an army of nearly 2,000 soldiers. on february 23rd, 1836, general santa ana and his troops arrive at san antonio. and begin surrounding the alamo. >> the first thing he does is try to scare them. raises a black flag. >> the no quarter flag sends a chilling message to the texans. >> none of you will be spared.
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he sets his guns up. in strategic position, to begin bombarding the alamo. [ speaking spanish ] >> davy! ♪
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>> what people need to understand about the battle of the alamo, is that it is a siege. now, this battle lasted 13 days. >> the mexican soldiers are forced to retreat. crockett is living up to his reputation. for now. trust dulcolax® for dependable relief. try free at dulcolaxoffers.com dulcolax® stool softener makes it easier to go comfortably. hurry! try free at dulcolaxoffers.com. dulcolax®. designed for dependable relief™. ♪ happiness is a drive-over mower deck. [ male announcer ] that's how we run,
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text yance march 5th, 1836. david crockett and some 200 texans are under siege at the alamo. for 12 days they fight off a steady barrage of gunfire. starved, sleep deprived, and outnumbered more than 10 to 1, they refuse to surrender and are prepared to fight until death. santa ana informs his men that they will storm the alamo in the morning. >> so he was willing to send a political message both to the united states and to the people of mexico, using the blood of his men as the angle for this message. >> these guys came in determined to knock down walls, and knock in doors.
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>> fall back! let's go!
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>> there are approximately 25 different accounts of how crockett started the alamo. there's no way to no. because there are no credible witnesses to it. all i can tell you is crockett became a texas icon by dying here. he was actually only in texas two months before he met his death at the alamo. >> of all the accomplishments in his 49 years, it's his death at the alamo that secures the myth of david crockett. >> in the days leading up to the siege at the alamo, david crockett is free to leave. but instead he chooses to stay and fight for the liberation of texas. rather than retreat as a coward, he fights heroically. living up to an image created by the popular culture of his time.
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in death, david crockett is able to become what he never could in his lifetime, a true american legend. we begin with a fox urgent. a huge weather system spotting tornadoes. twisters touching down in north texas and south dakota. we can tell you people were hurt. and a lot of property damage. well, look at your screen. shelters are open at this hour to take in people who had to evacuate from dangerous areas. millions of people are now facing the risk of severe weather. here's why. look at the map. where you see the red, especially critical. but the system, as you can see, is wide beyond that. more news as we get it, on this breaking weather situation. this is the fox report. let's get started with 2016. the race f

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